HIBISCUS BRACKENRIDGEI (Ma’o hau hele)

Hibiscus brackenridgei
Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. molokaiana

Common name: Ma’o hau hele, Brackenridge’s Rose mallow, Native Yellow Hibiscus

Hibiscus brackenridgei is native to Hawaii and it is State flower of Hawai. Hibiscus brackenridgei is listed as an endangered and endemic species. It is found on all the main Islands of Hawaiian except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe. It is rare and found mostly in dry forest and shrub lands at 130–800 m elevation Hibiscus brackenridgei is a tall shrub or small tree up to up to 10 m or 33 ft with solitary yellow flowers that closely related to the widespread Hibiscus brackenridgei . The flowers are open in the afternoon and are one-day flowers (1). The flowers are monoecious, 4–8 cm long, and often have a maroon spot at the base of the petals (2). The leaves of Hibiscus brackenridgei are 5–15 cm long and are deeply lobed Hibiscus brackenridgei owns extrafloral nectaries which are situated on the dorsal sides of the leaves, at the base of the mid-vein (3 &4).

Hibiscus brackenridgei ssp. brackenridgei

Hibiscus brackenridgei varies in appearance among islands but generally falls into three subspecies: Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. brackenridgei of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island, Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. Mokuleianus , The Mokulei Rosemallow of Oahu and Kauai. Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp molokaianus is an extremely rare 3rd subspecies.

References
1. Wilcox EV, Holt VS. (1913), Ornamental Hibiscus in Hawaii. Paradise of the Pacifc Press: Honolulu.
2. Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH. (1999) Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii Rev. Ed. Bishop Museum Press: Honolulu.
3. Fryxell PA. (1979). The Natural History of the Cotton Tribe (Malvaceae) Texas A&M University Press: College Station and London;
4. Vogel S. (2000), The floral nectaries of Malvaceae sensu lato A. conspectus. Kurtziana, 28:155–71.

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